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Justice Dept watchdog to release report on FBI decisions on Clinton probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department’s inner watchdog will release a long-awaited report on Thursday on the FBI’s dealing with of the Hillary Clinton electronic mail probe that she mentioned contributed to her 2016 presidential election loss to Republican Donald Trump.

FILE PHOTO: Former FBI Director James Comey testifies earlier than a Senate Intelligence Committee listening to on Russia’s alleged interference within the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June eight, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

The report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, which will probably be launched at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT), arose from a evaluate he launched a few week earlier than Trump took workplace in January 2017.

The inquiry has targeted on whether or not former FBI Director James Comey’s public statements concerning the bureau’s probe of Clinton’s use of a non-public electronic mail server whereas secretary of state have been primarily based on “improper considerations.”

In July 2016, Comey held an uncommon information convention to clarify why the FBI wouldn’t be recommending felony prices in opposition to Clinton over her use of the personal server. He chastised her for being “extremely careless” however mentioned there was inadequate proof to cost her with a federal crime.

In October 2016, lower than two weeks earlier than Election Day, Comey despatched members of Congress a letter disclosing that the probe was being reopened after new emails have been discovered on the pc of former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, the husband of prime Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Two days earlier than the Nov. eight election, Comey mentioned the FBI had discovered no new proof.

Comey was fired by Trump in May 2018 whereas main an investigation into whether or not the Trump marketing campaign colluded with Russia, an allegation the president has denied.

FILE PHOTO: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton awards ceremony at Georgetown University in Washington, U.S., February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

The Inspector General additionally examined whether or not FBI workers leaked details about investigations of the Clinton Foundation charitable group and emails in a bid to assist Trump’s marketing campaign.

Law enforcement officers beforehand instructed Reuters the knowledge was leaked to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to the Trump marketing campaign. He now represents Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into whether or not Russia interfered within the 2016 election.

The report may even focus on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI staffers whom Republicans accused of bias in opposition to Trump after hundreds of textual content messages despatched by way of their work-issued cell phones have been made public.

While a few of their messages have been anti-Trump, others took intention at lawmakers akin to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, whom Clinton defeated for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Page and Strzok have been concerned in each the Clinton and Russia probes. Mueller eliminated Strzok from his staff after Horowitz disclosed the texts to him.

Members of a number of key U.S. House and Senate committees are anticipated to be briefed on the report within the early afternoon earlier than its public release, in accordance to paperwork seen by Reuters.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Mark Hosenball; Editing by John Walcott and Peter Cooney

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